As new report claims over 75% of pothole damage compensation in South East is rejected…

Neille Ryan

Partner & Head of Personal Injury

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June 25, 2024

… Neille Ryan shares tips for success with personal injury claims

A personal injury law specialist has offered advice to people who are injured by defects on Kent’s pavements and roads, following a BBC report which found that local authorities in the county rejected more than three-quarters of pothole claims*.

Neille Ryan, a Partner and Head of Personal Injury at leading South East law firm Furley Page, said: “It’s no secret that Kent’s pavements and roads are in a poor state of repair and, with scant financial resources, Councils are increasingly pushing back against injury claims. Local authorities are legally required to inspect footways and roads and repair defects so if you are injured in an accident involving a defect on a publicly maintained footway or highway, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation.

“The Highways Act makes local authorities liable if they have not inspected footways and roads often enough or did not repair a defect within an “appropriate” amount of time after being notified. If the Council rejects your claim and you believe their decision was unjust you can appeal.

“To support your case, you should try to take note of as many details as possible about the condition of the footway or road, the size and location of the defect, and the circumstances surrounding the accident.

  • Take photographs and measurements of the defect, clearly evidencing its size and depth.
  • Witnesses can provide useful evidence that the defect was the cause of your injury, so get the names and contact details of anyone who saw your accident.
  • Find out how long the defect had been like that – this is crucial because a Court will allow a reasonable period of time for the defect to have been repaired.
  • Report the incident as soon as possible after it’s happened – if you’ve reported the accident and the defect still isn’t fixed for some considerable while afterwards, that would provide good evidence that the system of inspection and maintenance is lacking.

Neille continued: “In the event that liability for the accident is denied, your solicitors will be able to check the records to assess the reasonableness of the local authority’s inspection and maintenance policy and ascertain whether or not the Highway Authority (usually the county council) followed its own rules.

“However, it is important to be aware of the limitation period for injury claims, which gives three years from the date of your pothole accident in which to either settle your claim or begin Court proceedings to protect it. If the deadline is missed your chances of being allowed to bring the claim are slim to non-existent.”

For further information, please contact Neille Ryan on 01227 763939 or email